Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Horror Shelter in Hreša, Bosnia-Herzegovina!!!

As most of you know Hreša ‘shelter’ is open again!
On Monday night activists went there to find 20 dogs in cages without heat (temperatures are well below freezing), with nothing to eat but scraps of old frozen bread. Any water available was frozen. Activists were not allowed to provide food. However, they managed to rescue some of the dogs, including one mother dog and five of her puppies. Four of her puppies were frozen to death. She had given birth on frozen concrete.Ibrahim Hadžibajrić, Mayor of Stari Grad Municipality in Sarajevo, has stated he has signed an agreement with Hreša Municipality to send dogs from Stari Grad to Hreša ‘Shelter’ and that 30,000 KM (15,000 EUR/ 20,000 USD) have been allocated for this ‘project’, ‘renting’ the Hreša shelter. The contract as yet is still not signed, however.Although Ibrahim Hadžibajrić denies that the goal behind this agreement is elimination of dogs, note the following: there are over 11,000 strays in Sarajevo; Hreša is in a part of Bosnia (Republika Srpska) which allows killing of dogs in shelters, whereas in Sarajevo it is not allowed to do this.The Republika Srpska law states that any dog in a shelter that is not homed after 30 days may be euthanized, it does not say it must be euthanized. Only dogs who are suffering in extreme agony, who are aggressive, very old, or sick beyond help and similar must be euthanised by law. However it is common practice in this municipality to mark perfectly healthy dogs as being sick or injured and euthanize them on the day of arrival to the shelter or few days later, especially when there are many dogs arriving and they start running out of space. Also, over six years old can be considered ‘very old’. Furthermore, the dogs are kept in such poor conditions they usually become weak and sick within a week and so fulfil the requirements.Note that “euthanization” practices in this country include injections of bleach.Last year animal activists from Sarajevo visited Hreša ‘shelter’ several times and dogs just “disappeared” and employees told them they had been killed, and also that pedigree dogs were kidnapped and held for ransom in the shelter.Although pressure from animal activists inside and outside Bosnia brought about an investigation by the State Veterinary Office, we have heard absolutely nothing about the result of this investigation. In November Dogs Trust Bosnia stated they will ”monitor the progress of this investigation and subsequent intervention and where this stalls or is insufficient we will act.” We will be following up with Dogs Trust as we have as yet had no updates.THE GOOD NEWS IS: Daliborka Colic, who runs a Bosnian/German rescue organisation ( and Bettinna Markovic-Grimm, a businesswoman from Germany, have secured 5000 Euros to help. Daliborka says that the authorities can take dogs to Hreša but activists will simply go and bring the dogs back to Sarajevo each time. Activists will constantly monitor the conditions in Hreša and will inform the media. Daliborka will also rally her German friends and organizations to get involved as much as possible. Read more:

South Korea: Don't Eat Dogs and Cats! Boycott Seoul Food and Hotel 2013 Exhibition!

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*This is an original picture from S.G.A.O (Sirius Global Animal Organisation) from the cruel and gruesome dog meat trade in South Korea ! Rusty tin cans are jammed over their jaws to make them easier to handle for the slaughtering !
-►►-**For more on that issue go to
➨ ➨ PLEASE NOTE !!◄◄▬▬▬▬▬
THAT ALL THE OTHER PETITIONS AGAINST THE BARBARIC DOG MEAT TRADE IN SOUTH KOREA WITH LINKS,VIDEOS ECT.. YOU CAN SEE HERE:••••••► fbid=260577087406058&set=pb.100003613067737.-2207520000.1359570105&type=3&theater
Thank you all ~ Tony Zadel Copyright(©)

Monday, January 28, 2013


Blackfish review, documentary, film Sundance Film Festival, examines the institutionalized cruelty of the Orca whale 

By John Giansiracusa

Documentaries don’t often make people’s must lists, but once you see Blackfish it’ll definitely be on yours. The director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, was initially drawn to making this documentary after learning of the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau. Her focused changed to exposing the brutality of capturing these highly intelligent, social animals, and the effectsvi z vi  that follow due to a life in captivity.

It is proven that these animals have a part of their brain that humans do not have. Witnessing the initial capture back in the 70’s of these Orcas was truly gut wrenching. SeaWorld sent people to Puget Sound, WA to trap the Orcas, specifically the babies. When they succeeded the remaining family of about 20 Orcas lingered close by, bobbing up and out of the water screeching for the babies that were taken. The remaining Orca family was left mourning their baby they had been kidnapped.

As the story progresses we learn that SeaWorld actually consciously misinforms the public on its tours. Old visitor footage shows SeaWorld guides explaining that Orcas live longer in captivity thanks to the nutrients provided by the SeaWorld family. In actuality, they die around age 30 in captivity but females can live up to 100 in the wild. Tilikum was one of the main stars of the film, the largest male Orca in captivity. He had been transferred to Orlando after killing a trainer in Sealand Park in Canada.

Being a massive male, SeaWorld purchased this animal to create offspring. Unfortunately Tilikum was too large for his new home and often became the subject of abuse from smaller younger female Orcas. These Orcas are similar to humans in that there are many different “nationalities” of Orcas. Just as different ethnicities of humans would not get along in a cage together, all Orcas are not going to cohabitate peacefully.

Another heart wrenching example of the cruelty of imprisoned Orcas was the story of a mother and baby whale. Due to an uncooperative calf, SeaWorld decided to split up mother and baby and send the 4-year-old calf to a different SeaWorld. The moment that child whale left the tank the mother huddled in a corner echo locating for hours in pitches the trainers never heard before. How can you dispute the level of intelligence and social interaction these animals have?

Trainers were given very little background information about the killings in other parks. Anytime they questioned something they were made to feel foolish for asking. Also it was implied that if you did not agree then someone else was waiting for their job; aka shut up or you’re fired. Often the trainers had instincts about foul play but cared so much for the whales they didn’t want to leave their jobs.

The information is both astounding and horrifying and after this viewing I personally will no longer support this park. The filmmaker was not trying to create a protest against SeaWorld. They generate $2 billion dollars a year and to shut them down is impossible.

Instead she stated during the Q&A that she would like to see SeaWorld use its facilities to rehabilitate animals in need and then release them back into the wild. There are coves in the ocean that can be blocked off so these animals can seem like they are in the wild but still in a controlled environment. Through her research she realized there was so much more to the story than just a whale killing a trainer.

She wanted to make you aware of what truly happens with these whales and for you to make your own decision. Trainers are no longer to be in the pool with these whales, a decision that was made by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). SeaWorld is trying to appeal that.

Keep in mind that anytime you attend one of these killer whale shows you are risking the possibility of witnessing a death in front of your eyes as well as supporting the institutionalized cruelty of beautiful and intelligent animals.

A very special thanks to the local NYC Kosher Comedy Community site,, for teaming up with NoBo to spread the stories and reviews by correspondents Yael Galena and John Giansiracusa at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Visit the Goes to Sundance page.

Visit the NoBo Goes to Sundance page.

Visit the Sundance Film Festival page.

The dirty business of the lucrative ivory trade from Africa to Asia

Customs officers in China are seizing increasing amounts of illegal ivory every week.
Customs officers in China are seizing increasing amounts of illegal ivory every week. Photo: Hong Kong Customs

They call it white gold, but it's a dirty business, and the rising amounts being seized by customs in China suggests more than half the illegal ivory in the world is being smuggled into the Chinese market.
Officially there is a legal trade, set up in China in 2004; the idea was that if you saturate the marketplace with legal ivory sold by African countries, tonnes of tusks from elephants which have died of natural causes or been legally culled, then the price would drop and the illegal market would die off and not the endangered animals.
Instead the opposite has happened, the wholesale price has tripled in recent years. 62 tonnes of ivory were officially imported into China in March 2009, the sale approved byCITES: the world governing body for the trade in endangered species.
Much more than that has been sold. Investigators have found that shops selling legal ivory often flout the rules, there's an underground market in the certificates with some vendors discouraging buyers from taking the certificates so they can be used time and time again.

The legal trade in ivory, from elephants who died of natural causes, has inadvertently fuelled the illegal trade.
The legal trade in ivory, from elephants who died of natural causes, has inadvertently fuelled the illegal trade. Credit: Hong Kong Customs/ ITV News

Factories which carve the tusks into sought after ornaments have also been found by investigators to be taking in illegal ivory. A growing class of wealthy consumers in China and across Asia still desire ivory carvings as symbols of prestige and with share and property prices flat; as a better investment.
There are more direct flights between China and Africa, more shipping, as China invests billions in the continent. The rapid rise in internet users, half a billion or so, has meant that you can buy ivory with the click of a mouse. Traders use code words and obscure descriptions like "old tooth" to sell online. The trade has become easier and more lucrative. By sea, air and internet China and Africa have never been so closely linked.

The trade in ivory is growing as business relations flourish between Africa and China.
The trade in ivory is growing as business relations flourish between Africa and China. Credit: Hong Kong Customs/ ITV News

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other conservation groups want to see a complete ban on ivory sales in China. They argue that as long as there is a legal trade then the illegal ivory can be 'laundered' through the markets and factories supplying the increasing demand. Investigators from IFAW found that almost 60% of licensed ivory shops and factories were flouting the rules in some way: For example factories which are not meant to sell direct to the public were found to have display cabinets and be willing to make sales in the factory.
Chinese authorities are taking action, there's a public education programme which tries to banish the myth that elephant tusks simply drop off and grow back, like milk teeth. Polls showed that 7 out of 10 people didn't even know ivory comes from elephant tusks.
Customs officers are seizing increasing amounts, Hong Kong authorities intercepted a tonne of ivory smuggled in from Africa last week. This year the blood drenched trade looks set to have another lucrative year, demand that passes a death sentence on thousands of elephants.

Help Tania

Please take action and get this girl out of Hell
Come on Romania get in the 21st Century

She sways back and forth all day long with nothing to do in her cement jail

Tania, a lone elephant, with only concrete to kill her, submissively kneels in submission at a Romanian zoo.
To help Tania send this photo/link of her to:
EAZA asking to transfer her.
Ask why the EAZA has allowed this to happen.

Email your Romanian Ambassador to allow transfer:
Click See More for more ways to help Tania ...

Please email this photo url/link to the
The Independent Times
Their Fb page is here:
and to The Daily Mail
Or fill out the Daily Mail form here

Our Photo link to copy & paste to send to media:
The photo and all it Shares and Comments will show the News Room there is great interest in this elephant.

The petition for Tania:

Email the European Commission.
Attention: Ion Codescu, Head of Enforcement.
To File a Complaint with the European Commission go to this link

Tania was reported not to get along with the other elephants she had lived with. They were trained to do tricks in La Cornelle Zoo, Italy. She is at the Zoo Targu-Mures whose director thinks she is just fine. We need to tell other authorities and most importantly the media otherwise. What is curious about the photo is why she is allowed to be so close to this keeper, unless he intends to use his shovel if she goes after him. By forcing her into this position and the lack of foot care, the zoo does not know how to take care of her. Tania has had anger issues in the past, and who could blame her, and is one reason she was transferred to Romania and is alone is the concrete prison. All of this is completely unacceptable

Exposed: Imprisoned Bear Abused, Eaten

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Support the Great Ape Protection Act

The U.S. holds the dishonorable distinction of being the only nation in the world, other than Gabon, that continues to conduct invasive experiments on chimpanzees.

In their natural homes in the wild, chimpanzees—humans' closest living genetic relatives, who are more like us than they are like gorillas—are never separated from their families and troops. Profoundly social beings, they spend every day together exploring, building and using tools to solve problems, foraging, playing, grooming each other, and making soft nests for sleeping each night. They care deeply for their families and forge lifelong friendships. Chimpanzee mothers are loving and protective, nursing their infants and sharing their nests with them for four to six years. They have excellent memories and share cultural traditions with their children and peers. They empathize with one another and console their friends when they are upset. They help others, even at a personal cost to themselves. They grieve when their loved ones pass away. They laugh when they're enjoying themselves and grimace when they're afraid.
Sadly, in the early 1920s, experimenters in the U.S. began purchasing baby chimpanzees who had been kidnapped from the forests of Central and West Africa. To capture baby chimpanzees, hunters would kill the mother chimpanzees and any other adult chimpanzees who tried to defend the babies. Often, whole families killed just to obtain a few babies. The mortality rate among these babies during capture and transport was high. Those who made it to U.S. laboratories suffered terribly and died young. In 1923, the notorious American psychologist Robert Yerkes—who dreamed of creating the ideal chimpanzee "servant of science"—purchased a young bonobo and a chimpanzee he had hoped to study into maturity. Both died within a year. Undeterred by the carnage and suffering inherent in the chimpanzee trade, experimenters continued to fuel the practice. In the early 1950s, the U.S. Air Force secured the capture of 65 young chimpanzees from Africa for use in military flight experiments at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The descendents of these chimpanzees were used in infectious disease experiments and in high-velocity seat belt tests are now warehoused at the Alamogordo Primate Facility.
While many people believe that this practice is a shameful relic of the past, it persists today in the U.S. With a 2010 ban on great ape experimentation passed in the European Union, the U.S. holds the dishonorable distinction of being the only nation in the world, other than Gabon, that continues to conduct invasive experiments on chimpanzees.
Chimpanzee Experimentation in the U.S. in the 21st Century
More than 900 chimpanzees still languish in laboratories in the United States, with as many as 80 percent of them simply warehoused because there is no longer a need to use them in experiments.
In these prisons, chimpanzees are very often caged alone and deprived of the freedom, autonomy, and meaningful social interaction that they need. There are no families, no companions, no grooming, and no nests. There are only cold, hard steel bars and concrete—and terror and loneliness that go on for so many years that most chimpanzees sink into depression, eventually losing their minds. As a result of having to endure the terror and pain of having their bodies routinely violated for experiments and the loneliness of their tiny steel and concrete prison cells, many chimpanzees bear lifelong emotional scars. Numerous studies have shown that even long after they are retired from experimentation, many chimpanzees exhibit abnormal behavior indicative of depression and post-traumatic stress. They suffer from symptoms such as social withdrawal, anxiety, and loss of appetite. They pull out their own hair, bite themselves, and pace incessantly.
Most chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories have been given diseases, such as AIDS, hepatitis, cancer, infection with respiratory syncytial virus, malaria, and heart disease, intentionally--even though advances in technology make these procedures irrelevant and decades of experimentation show that chimpanzees' bodies do not react in the same way to these diseases as humans' do.
In 1995—after hundreds of chimpanzees were bred in laboratories in the 1980s and '90s on the heels of the AIDS crisis—the National Institutes of Health (NIH) imposed a moratorium on the breeding of chimpanzees after it was discovered that chimpanzees don't get sick from HIV infection and do not contract AIDS. 
Four facilities funded by (NIH) continue to conduct experiments on chimpanzees. These facilities include the Southwest National Primate Research Center, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Experimenters at Yerkes subject chimpanzees to neuroimaging, cognitive and motor testing, and invasive endocrine status tests in long-term studies on aging. At Southwest, MD Anderson, and New Iberia, chimpanzees are subjected to multiple procedures, such as, among other things, liver biopsies and frequent "knockdowns" in which they are traumatically shot with a tranquilizer dart gun. Recently at MD Anderson, chimpanzees were also used in an absurd experiment looking at whether salt intake increased blood pressure, something that has been well-established in humans for decades.
Chimpanzees are also imprisoned in commercial laboratories. Pharmaceutical giant Merck recently revealed studies in which chimpanzees chronically infected with hepatitis C virus were subjected to invasive liver biopsies and blood work. A contract testing laboratory called BIOQUAL (formerly known as SEMA) had been tormenting chimpanzees in NIH-funded experiments for hepatitis C and other illnesses. After learning that BIOQUAL was separating young chimpanzees from their mothers, locking them in individual cages, infecting them with norovirus—which causes diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain—and then subjecting them to months of painful biopsy procedures, PETA purchased stock in the company to urge it to phase out the use of chimpanzees and called on NIH to cut funding for the experiments. Just six months after PETA purchased the BIOQUAL stock, the company announced that it was ending all its chimpanzee experiments.
In 2011, a landmark report by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) that examined the scientific validity of experiments on chimpanzees concluded that "most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not necessary." In response, NIH announced that it was suspending consideration of funding for any new experiments on chimpanzees. The agency also stated that all currently funded experiments on chimpanzees would be reevaluated, that funding for as many as 50 percent may be ended based on the IOM's conclusions, and that any chimpanzees not currently being used in experiments, including the chimpanzees in semi-retirement at the Alamogordo Primate Facility, may not be enrolled in any studies during NIH's review.
Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act
While the IOM report and NIH's review are steps in the right direction, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 1513/S. 810), which has been wending its way through Congress with tremendous bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, is the only measure that would permanently end the use of chimpanzees and all other great apes in invasive experiments and retire more than 600 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries where they would, at last, be able to live out their days in peace. You can join PETA's effort to liberate chimpanzees from laboratories here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Macau Greyhounds In Deadly Race please sign this petition

Macau Greyhounds In Deadly Race

(ANIMAL WELFARE) Animals Australia is calling for the ban of the greyhound export trade to Macau, concerned that major animal abuse is occurring. Macau Greyhound statistics are extremely morbid. The dogs used for racing are kept in awful conditions, and according to the head of Macau’s animal control department, every imported dog from Australia is dead within three years. Dogs that finish the race outside of the top three spots are often killed. Read on for more on the sad lives of these greyhounds, and help end this cruelty by signing the petition below. — Global Animal

The longest time these dogs survive is three years. Photo credit:
National Times, Richard Willingham
GREYHOUNDS exported to Macau are facing a ”death sentence” and living in inhumane conditions but the government says it is not in control of animal welfare in other countries, despite placing strict conditions on livestock exported overseas.
Animals Australia has called on Greyhounds Australasia and the government to ban the trade to the Asian gambling hub because greyhounds are kept in tiny cages, denied regular exercise and killed if they fail to finish in the top three in five consecutive races.
The peak body has begun a review of the trade to Macau, but Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said the government was only in control of ensuring dogs were fit and healthy to be exported.
The activist group, which uncovered horrific cruelty to Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs, said there were no laws in Macau to protect greyhounds from cruelty.
In 2010, 280 Australian dogs were exported to Macau. Campaign director Lyn White said the head of the Macau government’s animal control department, Dr Choi U Fai, described the plight of greyhounds as ”terrible” and that every dog imported from Australia was dead within three years.
”In 2010, 383 dogs were killed at the track, more than one per day and up from 322 a year before,” Ms White said.
Greyhounds Australasia chief executive Craig Taberner said it was holding a formal review into its approach to exports, including development of a set of standards for countries importing Australian greyhounds. He expects the review to be before the board in the third quarter of 2012.
”We will engage with the Australian government on the potential for regulatory backing for a new set of export standards. This will aim to ensure that greyhounds cannot be exported to countries who do not meet relevant standards,” Mr Taberner said.

Every greyhound arriving at Macau to race is dead within three years. Help end this dog massacre by singing a petition.
Critics of the trade have inundated Senator Ludwig’s office with complaints. Senator Ludwig wrote to Animals Australia outlining that the government is responsible for ensuring a dog is healthy before granting it an export permit.
”The government does not regulate or monitor the purpose or end use of the export,” Senator Ludwig wrote.
This is in stark contrast to the new export rules for the live export industry that require exporters to have an independently audited supply chain, from farm to overseas slaughter, that meets a stringent set of animal welfare standards.
The Age understands that greyhound exports are treated differently by the department to livestock exports because they are considered companion or racing animals and are exported in much smaller numbers.
A spokeswoman for Senator Ludwig said Australia supported the efforts of other countries to improve animal welfare.
Ms White said: “Exporting greyhounds to Macau is nothing more than a death sentence for these animals. It’s an illogical double standard to put tight regulations in place for the export of native animals, but not for dogs or other animals exported from Australia.”

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Elephant Mass Shooting In Kenya

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

January 10, 2013 

Alisa Manzelli, Global Animal
According to wildlife officials, a family of 11 elephants were recently killed in what is being referred to as the biggest mass shooting of the threatened species on record in Kenya.
An elephant forages at the Tsavo East National Park last year, the scene of the latest mass shooting which saw a family of 11 of the animals die.
An elephant forages at the Tsavo East National Park. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
The killings took place on Saturday in Tsavo East National Park, one of the country’s tourism gems and Kenya’s largest single continuous ecosystem home to approximately 13,000 elephants.
The Kenya Wildlife Service said in a statement, ‘The entire family of 11 elephants have been confirmed poached and tusks chopped off. All the carcasses had bullet wounds.’
The service says its rangers are pursuing a poaching gang believed to have slaughtered the family of elephants for their ivory tusks. It says foot, dog, and aerial units are currently on the hunt for the estimated 10 attackers.
Elephants across Africa have become increasingly threatened by poachers in recent years as the demand for ivory trinkets continues to rise in Asia—particularly China.
And while a pound of ivory is now worth more than $1,000 in Beijing, poor African villagers are able to earn vast sums by killing elephants and removing their tusks.
Although elephant poaching in Kenya witnessed a sharp decline after 1989 when the government banned the ivory trade, there has been a rise in illegal practice in recent years with tens of thousands of elephants being killed—more than at any other point in decades.
“We’ve seen nothing as bad as this since the 1980s,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, a researcher in Kenya who has studied elephants for several years. “We’re right back to where we were.”
Sign the petition to help enforce a total ban on the sale of ivory.
Sign the petition to help enforce a total ban on the sale of ivory.
Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udo said this latest slaughter was the worst single incident of its kind recorded in Kenya.
Udo said, “(It) shows the great lengths these criminal cartels are ready to go to get ivory. It’s really tragic.”
Figures indicate approximately 350 elephants were poached in Kenya last year—though wildlife groups say the figure was just a small fraction of the true number of deaths as the carcasses of many poached elephants are never discovered. In addition, a total of six wildlife rangers were also killed in 2012—again, more than in any other recent year.
Despite the East African country’s ban on the ivory trade, illegal practices are more prevalent than ever before. And without cooperation from the Chinese government, these murders will only continue. Help protect these endangered animals and sign the petition telling Chinese President Xi Jinping to stop imports of elephant tusks and rhino horns.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bears Trapped in Pits, Forced to Beg For Food ...

Please go here to sign petition: Bears Trapped in Pits, Forced to Beg For Food ...

In 2012, PETA conducted an undercover investigation at Chief Saunooke Bear Park (CSBP), a roadside collection of bear pits in Cherokee, North Carolina. CSBP confines bears to desolate concrete cells, where they are forced to beg for food and are deprived of all that is natural and important to them.
PETA's investigator found that the bored and frustrated bears turn endlessly in circles. One of them routinely rocks back and forth—a sign of profound deprivation and stress.They bite the pits' metal bars, which breaks their teeth. This is painful and can cause bone infections, so it requires veterinary care, but PETA's investigator never saw a veterinarian at CSBP and never saw the bears given any pain relief.
PETA's investigator also found cruelty:
  • Workers sometimes leave the bears, who have a remarkably well-developed sense of smell, trapped amid their own waste all day long. Instead of removing feces, they spray a citrus-scented product into the pits. One worker told PETA's investigator, "You just got to be careful because [federal officials] think you're trying to hide something. Which we are."
  • CSBP's manager and bear handler admitted that workers deny bears food because, "[i]f you feed them … they ain't gonna eat for people."
  • The manager boasted that he sprays water at one bear "all the time … to get his ass up" and force him onto display.
  • The park's bear handler said it took "20 shots … in the head" to kill one of CSBP's bears. He said that there is "[n]othing better than a bear that's been eating bread and apples all its life. Meat's good."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hong Kong seizes huge haul of smuggled ivory

AFP January 5, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
HONG KONG -- Hong Kong said Friday it had seized more than a ton of ivory worth about US$1.4 million in a shipment from Kenya, the city's third big seizure in less than three months.
Customs said they seized the 779 pieces of ivory tusks, weighing 1.3 tons, that were cut up and hidden in five wooden boxes along with stone plates in a container marked “architectural stones” on Thursday. The haul was worth an estimated HK $10.6 million (US$1.4 million).
“It is not very often that you see architectural stones from Kenya ... (that's why) we saw this container as possibly storing high risk goods,” customs official Clare Kwan told reporters. The department declined to say where the shipment, which passed through Malaysia, was headed for. No arrests have been made so far. The latest haul comes less than three months after Hong Kong made its record seizure in October of 1,290 pieces of tusk and a small number of ivory ornaments from Kenya and Tanzania that weighed a total of 3.81 tons. In November, customs officers intercepted another container from Tanzania carrying 569 pieces of unpolished tusks weighing about 1.3 tons.
Despite the large seizures, customs denied Hong Kong had become a smuggling hub for the illicit ivory trade “There is no information suggesting that there is an increasing trend of smuggling ivory tusks detected,” ports control head Vincent Wong told the same news conference. Under Hong Kong law, anyone found guilty of importing unmanifested cargo into the southern Chinese city — a major shipping hub — faces imprisonment of up to seven years and a maximum fine of HK$2 million.
An Elephant Fetus Born and left to die after her mother had her face chopped off  so the  Chinese can make Ivory Chopsticks. Elephants are pregnant for 2 years and are excellent mothers she  still has her umbilical cord attached
In addition, those guilty of importing, exporting or possessing an endangered species for commercial purposes face up to two years in jail and a maximum HK$5 million fine, customs officials said. The international trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after elephant populations in Africa dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s.
However, a rise in the illegal trade in ivory has been fueled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks are used in traditional medicines and to make ornaments. Africa is home to an estimated 472,000 elephants whose survival is threatened by poaching, illegal game hunting and habitat loss.
High Demand in China: In China, ivory is seen as a STATUS SYMBOL and a sign of wealth, thus driving the demand. Worldwide consumption of Chinese manufactured goods has strengthened the Chinese economy and resulted in an increase in middle and upper class citizens with a high disposable income.